Why Home Inspectors Need Social Media to Be Successful
by Inspector Media Founders Erik Gromicko & Justin Zola, and Kate Tarasenko
As a home inspector, you undoubtedly have little free time and much to do. Besides performing inspections, writing reports, and booking new appointments, other tasks like marketing and maintaining your website can make it difficult to keep track of everything on your plate. The challenge only gets more difficult if your business is small and lean.
One of the tasks that can drop to the bottom of your to-do list is marketing—particularly marketing your business on social media. Even though it may seem like social media is an exercise in time-wasting for Millennials, there’s a strong case to be made for using those online platforms to advertise and promote your home inspection business.
Home inspectors should not ignore social media—particularly Facebook. Whether you’re just starting out or are well-established in your community, social media can help you connect with current customers, find new leads, and build brand equity in your area.
Why Social Media Is a Must for Your Home Inspection Business
Social media is an increasingly critical tool for reaching both current and prospective customers. This is true regardless of your service area or the size of your home inspection business.
Think of it this way: When marketing or advertising your business, you want to reach the most likely customers in the largest possible pond of customers. It’s all a numbers game, and you want the numbers to skew to your advantage. Faced with this task, social media websites can be immensely helpful.
Let’s start with the size of the pond itself. Social media websites like Twitter have hundreds of millions of registered users. And sites like Facebook, YouTube and Instagram have billions of daily active users. Millennials are particularly addicted to social media, with 53% of them opting to share their new home purchase, which is more than Millennials who use social media to announce a new birth. In all likelihood, most, if not all, of the potential customers in your area are on at least one social media website. Simply put, you want to go where the customers are.
It’s not only the scale that’s common among many social media sites. Their users spend a lot of time on these sites and are deeply engaged when doing so.
As just one example, let’s look at Facebook. Notwithstanding recent scrutiny from regulators, Facebook users are deeply engaged on the platform. This is great news for marketers and businesses like home inspectors. Nearly one-third of Facebook users regularly engage with brands. While that number has recently decreased, users still average 35 minutes per day on Facebook. They open it up on their desktop or mobile devices about eight times a day, which is more than other social media apps like Instagram and Twitter. While there are more statistics that show similar trends, Facebook has them beat. What does this mean for you?
Ultimately, home inspectors cannot ignore social media sites like Facebook because it’s one of the easiest ways to showcase your services in front of a highly engaged group.
Yes, you can develop an audience organically by blogging about your home inspection business. That said, this takes time—time that, in all likelihood, you don’t have.
As an alternative, you should consider Facebook’s powerful advertising platform to help you find prospective clients. Instead of blanketing your service area through a newspaper or television ad, you can leverage Facebook ads to target a subset of certain potential customers, whether that’s based on age, location, education level, or even interests. Targeting your audience can be extremely precise.
How to Integrate Social Media into Your Business
So, considering the importance of social media marketing for your home inspection business, how can you best leverage sites like Facebook?
While entire books have been written on the subject, here are five ways to use social media to your business’s advantage.
1. If you haven’t already, create social media accounts. This is the obvious first step. Without a business account on social media websites, you won’t be able to connect with customers or advertise your business.
The key question is which social media websites should you use? Facebook is certainly the juggernaut, so you’ll want to have at least one Facebook account for your business. (Personal or family accounts don’t count, so be sure not to mix the two.)
Next, you’ll have to decide (1) how much time to allocate to social media marketing, and (2) which social media sites best showcase your home inspection business. For example, Instagram is more visually oriented, Twitter is more about news and link sharing, and YouTube focuses on video. Ultimately, you’ll need to decide how to best utilize your time. And remember that quantity is not better than quality.
2. Post frequently. Once you’ve chosen your social media websites, your work has only begun. You, someone on your team, or a social media marketing company like Inspector Media (which works exclusively with home inspectors) will want to provide frequent posts on your page. Luckily, there are tools to make this process easier. For example, Buffer helps you simultaneously post across multiple social media websites—all at predetermined dates and times. Throughout this process, keep in mind that you need to supply consistent content. It can be about anything related to your home inspection business. Using hashtags can also help your posts find new audiences. When all is said and done, an inactive page is worse than having no page at all.
3. Engage with your followers. Once you have content on your social media pages, users will start reading and responding to your posts. Instead of simply letting them “Like” or retweet a post with no response, further engage with your growing audience. Follow back some of your company’s followers and friends, and respond to their questions and comments. By building up these burgeoning connections, you’ll get that much closer to finding reliable customers and converting prospects into clients, which is the whole point of being on social media.
4. Leverage social media advertising. As discussed above, social media ads—particularly Facebook ads—can be extremely powerful. Even if you post to your page as part of your organic marketing efforts, you’ll also want to consider social media ads. Sites like Facebook make it easy to get started. You simply create your ad copy, target a certain subset of Facebook users, and select a budget for your ad campaign. While you’ll want to do your own research on how to run an effective campaign, social media advertising can garner you some promising leads.
5. Measure and analyze. Posting for the sake of posting isn’t enough. Neither is creating an ad campaign and letting it run. Remember that you can’t improve what you can’t measure, so you or someone on your team will need to monitor your social media marketing efforts to determine which posts and ad campaigns are receiving the most engagement. Monitoring impressions, visits, clicks, and other metrics will ensure that you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck. After reviewing the results of your posts and ad campaigns, you can iterate appropriately going forward. This will lead to higher engagement, more user connections, and more prospective clients.
Get Started Today!
Social media marketing takes time. It doesn’t instantly lead to inspections. That said, it can be extremely worthwhile, whether you do it yourself or use a social media marketing manager for home inspectors like Inspector Media.
Yes, it takes some work and experimentation. You may find yourself frustrated at the amount of effort or the lack of engagement you initially see. But if you ignore the scale, engagement, and targeting powers of social media, you and your home inspection business are missing out on new customers. That’s why you need to stick with it. Effective social media marketing can lead to greater brand equity, more clients, and more profits. The end result will be worth it.